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The San Francisco Police Officers Association has embarked on a very ambitious, 3-Phase project to digitally preserve all of our print publications and our collection of photographs and other historical items. Included in the archives are publications and photos dating back as early as the 1940s. We know of no other Law Enforcement employee organization in this nation that has endeavored to collect, preserve, and make available to the world its vital history in such a comprehensive manner.

The history of this organization – like that of any other – includes times and events that do not always portray us in the best light. We have made no effort to censor our vibrant and colorful historical record. It is, what it is, and none of it should be re-written or obscured. All of our laundry, dirty or not, is now dangling on the proverbial clothesline out there on the World Wide Web. We have made no effort to edit out the headlines and articles that, in the context of the present day, might not be considered “politically correct” or that might cast this organization into disrepute. As I said, it is our history, and its value as such far outweighs any political fall-out that might occur by taking any of it out of its true historical context. We, like all students of history, have generally learned from our mistakes, and so this historical record illuminates our long and ever-evolving journey. --- Ray Shine, Editor


The project has three distinct phases:

Phase One, now nearly completed, was to make high-resolution digital scans of all the POA printed publications, and to make all of it searchable by name, date, event, and other key words. The resulting PDFs are also entirely downloadable and can be printed.

Phase Two, scheduled to begin by late summer 2012, will entail high-resolution scans of hundreds of POA photos and graphics. These, too, will be searchable to the extent possible, but will also include the ability for active and retired members to log-on and add descriptive information to any photograph posted (i.e., names, dates, locations, events, etc.). The threads of any such descriptives will also be preserved as a living history commentary that can be added to, but from which nothing will be deleted except slanderous, libelous, or obscene postings.

Phase Three, as yet not scheduled, will be to post an audio-visual history of the organization. Material will include taped interviews with POA activists and other personalities, and media replays.


SFPOA publications dating back to the 1940's are being uploaded. Those include all issues of the POA Journal, and most issues of POA Notebook and The Policeman. Click here to view a static list categorized by printing date, or click here to go to the search.

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